"South Sudan's crisis began just two weeks ago, on Dec. 15, and it already has observers warning that it could lead to civil war. Fighting has killed an estimated 1,000 people and sent 121,600 fleeing from their homes. International peacekeepers are preparing for the worst; some have been killed and a number of them, including four U.S. troops, have been injured. What's happening in South Sudan is complicated and can be difficult to follow; understanding how it got to be this way can be even tougher. Here, then, are the most basic answers to your most basic questions. First, a disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive or definitive account of South Sudan and its history -- just some background, written so that anyone can understand it."
"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."
"David Guttenfelder, chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press wire service, sent these photos from North Korea straight to his Instagram account (in real time), a significant feat in a country where access is strictly controlled and where very few have Internet access."
"The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world. The Project facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states. We comb the extant literature and conduct expert interviews to find qualitative and quantitative information on over 310 indicators of women's status in 174 countries. Our Database expands daily, and access to it is free of charge. Click here if you are a new to the project."
It seemed like most people were changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Human Rights Campaign's symbol for equality -- that red equal sign -- this week as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases concerning same-sex marriage.
Even as publics in many of the surveyed Muslim-majority countries express a clear preference for women to dress conservatively, many also say women should be able to decide for themselves what to wear.
"In the last of a series of programmes exploring global population for the award-winning This World strand, Rosling presents an 'as live' studio event featuring cutting-edge 3D infographics painting a vivid picture of a world that has changed in ways we barely understand – often for the better."
"Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily. Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year."
From the food we eat to the energy, transportation, and water we all need, a warmer world will bring big changes for everyone.
B Sinica: This article touches every aspect of geography from culture to climate [considering] how the growing population plays the biggest role in determining the future of life on Earth. People need to recognize the problems and potential future issues with global warming and the rapidly changing environment. Though not many issues can be prevented or even solved, the least we can do is try to lessen the severity of devastation and prolong the current conditions as much as possible before the world becomes too extreme to manage.
Guinea pigs are popular pets in the U.S., but in parts of South America, they're a delicacy. Some environmental and humanitarian groups are making a real push to encourage guinea pig farming as an eco-friendly alternative to beef.
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